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Saturday, February 4, 2017

Alpine Classic repor tand a Lairs ride tomorrow

Not much excites the cyclist in me more than my first sighting of Mount Buffalo as I drive in to Bright each year, in fact I reckon even a child's excitement on the promise of a puppy would be a bit low key compared to how I feel on that stretch of road come summer (bloody ungrateful kids).
This year's trip up to Bright with some of the Lairs was a ripper. Lots of great food and drink, wonderful scenery, brilliant rides the nicest friends anyone could want and the most generous hospitality all made this a perfect holiday.
I got there on Wednesday evening after leaving straight after work and was very quickly into relaxation mode.
First thing Thursday morning I headed up for the Mount Buffalo climb, since this is my favorite climb it was a no brainer that I would be heading that way. Kerrie was keen to have a go at Tawonga Gap so we split up once we got into town.
I climbed harder than I planned to but that will come as no surprise to any of you that know me.
I loved it and I felt good, especially since I had met up with two father son combos whom I rode and chatted with almost all the way up, Yeh, Yeh I love a chat.
The Chalet is currently undergoing some serious works so it looks like the much promised re-opening is getting a little closer.
After taking a few photos I headed back to Bright and to continue with the social and culinary part of the weekend.
Kerrie had already returned from her ride and Meg and Pete had arrived in Bright and were heading off to also have a go at the Towonga Gap clmb.
once all the riding was out of the way we headed in to town for the pre Alpine registration, a bit of a shop at the stalls in the Audax camp and a few drinks at the brewery then headed home for the first of our ripper meals that were a constant over the four days where someone would put a hand up as head chef then the rest of us would all kick in and fill in the gaps, yum, yum! Even our breakfasts followed the same formula. Janine also arrived on the Thursday evening, in time for dinner and a look at the tennis.
Friday was an early start for Janine for the first day of the Alpine Raid which meant the ride up Mt Hotham and down to Omeo where she would spend the night where on the second day she would ride the beautiful road to the start of the murderous clmb up the back of Falls Creek which she completed in fine style before making her way back to Bright.
For the rest of us the Friday was more of the same as Thursday but with only Pete and Craig taking the mountain bikes out for a go at the trails.
An easy day also meant the chance for us to catch up with Steve Ambry for lunch at a ripper little cafe in near the river.
Saturday mornning meant the big day had arrived, the inaugural Boys versus Girls Alpine Classic Shoot out...As Pete and I were doing the 200 distance and a four am start, the three am alarm was not exactly music to our ears but a quick breakfast and the short ride into town had us at the start line with the many other riders on there well lit bikes. the early starts present a wonderful sight with the procession oh lights as it heads out of Bright and up Mt Buffalo.
Meg and Kerrie had opted out of the two hundred distance so were able to have a bit of a lay in which saw them leaving Bright toward Towonga at 7 am, Pete and I were back in Bright and back on our way after them at about 7.40 ish.

The Tawonga Gap climb was a bit of a treat as Joseph joined us for it, of course this meant that we probably climbed harder than we would have had it been just Pete and I but that's the price you have to pay if you want to ride with Joey Halfwheels.
We were making pretty good time and were soon on our way down and in to Mount Beauty for a feed and a top up of our water bottles before heading up Falls Creek.
We had made it a fair way up before we received a text message from Meaghan saying they had arrived at the top of Falls for lunch which meant we had a lot of work to do if we were to catch them before Bright.
As we were approaching the top we passed the girls on there descent which spurred us on but must have spurred them on a fair bit more as this would be the last time we saw them before the finish in Bright. A quick feed and we were on our way with one of the most enjoyable descents I've ever had and were soon back at Mount Beauty and on the approach to the last climb of the day, Tawonga the heat, and it was damn hot and I found it a fair challenge trying to keep cool and was resorting to poring water from one of my bidons over my head in an effort to keep cool. Pete saved the day when he pulled up at the spring about two thirds of the way up which provided just enough of a trickle to re fill our bidons to tip over ourselves, the short break was all I needed to get me to the top without any further suffering.
We were greeted at the top by Super Domestique Craig with any esky full of ice and cold water, you should have seen him fighting off the zombie riders as he tried to keep enough water for us before agreeing to top up anyone else's water bottles.
Craig told us that we weren't far behind the girls and if we had a bit of a dig we might catch the girls on the way back to Bright, of course I reckon this was more for his amusement than any real chance of seeing them before the finish, of course we hooked in anyway but it was not to be.
So here we are, at the point where Kerrie has made sure I make public...Team Mad Dog Meaghan and Kerrie beat Team Pete and Steve in the 2017 Boys V Girls Alpine classic shootout, well done ladies.
Of course this meant celebratory drinks and more food and a bit of a rest for the rest of the weekend. 
What a brilliant weekend, Thanks to Pete for being such great company on the ride and to the rest of the gang for making such a great trip and a huge well done to Janine for completing the raid.
A bit of housekeeping, there is a ride planned for 8 am from the usual spot in Lancefield tomorrow.



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